African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "Teacher" (1926)

Ideals are like the stars,
Always above our reach.
Humbly I tried to learn,
More humbly did I teach.

On all honest virtues
I sought to keep firm hold.
I wanted to be a good man
Though I pinched my soul.

But now I lie beneath cool loam
Forgetting every dream;
And in this narrow bed of earth
No lights gleam.

In this narrow bed of earth
Star-dust never scatters,
And I tremble lest the darkness teach
Me that nothing matters.

Published in Opportunity, May 1926

This page has tags: